I was speaking with someone today who is very concerned about the direction ‘small groups’ and many churches are headed. They seem to be drifting into mere social groups where discussion is more about personal opinion rather than about what the Scripture says and desiring to obey it.
This drove my mind to a period of time in Israel’s history when leadership was more interested in having a meal with their choice of meat than the Word of God. “Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord in the presence of Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision” (1 Samuel 3:1). It had become so bad that Eli the priest did not recognize when a broken woman prayed or when the Lord spoke to Samuel until the third time.
One young boy changed the whole course of a nation through listening to God speak to him. “And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground…And the Lord appeared again at Shiloh, for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord” (3:19, 21). Notice the progression of these verses. Hearing God speak caused Samuel to grow. This growth was confirmed by the presence of the Lord in His life in the form of personal revelation. While verse one says “there was no frequent vision” in those days, God revealed Himself to Samuel simply by His word. This became true of His whole life. Is it true of you?
The history of Samuel proves that he valued God’s Word. None of Samuel’s words fell to the ground (or were untrue) because he was speaking what he received from the Lord who spoke to him. This is absolutely critical in our day! Decline in speaking God’s Word is because some have lost their appreciation and appetite for hearing God speak to them His life-giving truth.
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